How much spam do you get? Do you recognise it immediately? Which emails do you open on sight? Which do you delete instantly? And the most important question of all… why?
And here’s a few more. Why do some emails get through the spam bots? Why are some marked as spam instantly? What is blacklisting? Am I on a blacklist? How do I get off that list? And the $64m question, what should I use to send email so I never gat blacklisted again?
OK, so let’s take a look. The first thing you need to do (so you ‘get’ it and it sticks) is to analyse what you do when you view your email.
What’s the first thing you look at? Is it the subject line or the sender name? Maybe it’s the snippet from the email if your email client shows that (eg. Gmail).
I can tell you that for the majority of people it is the sender name. Now of course this may not be your personal habit here, but research shows the vast majority of people always check who it’s from before they look anywhere else, and it’s those people that matter when it comes to internet marketing (ie. the ‘vast majority’). Everything starts with targeting, and this one little point is often overlooked.
So make sure you put your name as the sender. Anything else will look either spammy or just as bad, commercial. If you see an email from Virgin, for example, you know immediately it will be something to do with some product. Suppose, however, it came from ‘Richard Branson’. Would you open it?
Next up is the Subject line. These have been tested to death by internet marketers and the following points are the important ones to take on board:
Must be original. ‘Get 10% off today’ will only work if you trust AND BUY from the seller (otherwise it’s straight in the trash – or worse marked as Spam).
Must be enticing or plain simple. And that does not mean ‘Did you hear this amazing news!!!’ (it’s not just the overuse of exclamation marks that give this obviously spammy title away – the only way you are going to open this is if you REALLY trust the sender). Plain simple is exactly that. Tell it like it is. ‘Just to say thank you for ordering xxx’. They can see who it is from, the title is non-threatening, so there is a chance they will open it. So, what is ‘enticing’ then? I’m glad you asked that. ’Thanks for signing up to my newsletter. I have something special for you’.
Don’t use the word FREE. Don’t even use it in the body text of your email either. It is a red flag to spam bots. Many internet marketers will break the word up (eg. f ree or fr ee etc.) but these will be spotted sooner or later and once they are, they look even spammier. So what do I use then? Use ‘Gratis’ or ‘no cost’ or ‘zero cost’ or even ’100% off’.
Make sure the first line of the body text of the email also grabs attention or interest. This is because it is shown in many email clients. The people receiving your email will most likely look at who it’s from first, then the subject, and if that isn’t enough for them to make the decision to open, they look at a snippet of the content.
And what happens if none of the above is interesting enough? They file it ‘for later’ (which means never) or mark it as spam.
Worse though, their email client may mark it as spam automatically. This can be for far too many reasons to list here, but one of those reasons is that it has come from a sender who has been blacklisted. You can use this online tool if you are worried email from your domain is being blacklisted. Just enter your domain name into the tool: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx
The only real way to avoid your email blasts being blacklisted is to use a bona-fide email service like Aweber. There are lots of services like this, but I have found them to be about the best all things considered. They also have incredible help. For example, we have used them over at Accountz.com in order to split people into two separate lists from a single optin form.
To conclude, getting your domain or email address banned by spam bots is the last thing you need to do. So if you want to communicate via email to more than one customer at a time, you must use a dedicated email service.